Today my blog turns one week old. Not the most significant of milestones granted, but it’s given me pause for reflection.
I have said that I felt compelled to write this and since I started I’m finding the need to write remains strong. That’s not to say that there haven’t been doubts, after all it’s not everyday that you decide to place your thoughts and feelings out there for all to see. And that’s a little scary.
Many times and in many situations I have said that I don’t care what others think of me and to an extent that is true – when all is said and done I’ve largely followed my own path in life. I’m fortunate to have people close to me that I can confide in and who help me to decide things but in the end I’ve always done what I’ve believed to be the best thing at the time. That’s not to say that I have always made good decisions, far from it, but they have been the best that I could make at that time and I don’t believe in having regrets.
But can I really say that I’m not bothered by what anybody else thinks? Of course not.
We are social animals and a large part of how we define ourselves is by the relationships that we have and the way that we are perceived by others. And I’d rather be perceived positively thank you very much.
In recovering from depression twice I have had to take a long hard look at myself – how I think, how I behave, how I feel – to help me to understand why depression can take hold of me and to make sure that it doesn’t get its claws into me again. One of the most significant things I have learned is the nature of my relationship with the opinions and perceptions of others.
We can try to shape people’s perceptions of us – I suppose we do this all the time, consciously or otherwise – but we can’t control how others will judge us, and we can’t allow ourselves to become preoccupied with what others think to the extent that we begin to turn in on ourselves, giving free reign to the negative voice that we all have. Because it will be more than happy to do its worst given the opportunity.
I’m conscious that people – some, maybe many of whom don’t really know me – will judge me based on what they read here. I’m conscious that I may come across as self-pitying – I don’t feel self-pitying but there can be a fine line between being sad about a situation and being self-pitying about it – but all I can be is true to myself.
I catch myself wondering whether one day in the future (or on many days…) I will read these posts back to myself and cringe, wondering what the fuck I was thinking. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. But I know that writing this is good for me right now.
Wherever I end up in the future and however I view this period of my life, there won’t be any regrets. What I am doing today is going to take me towards that future, wherever that may be. And I have to go here in order to get there.
Soundtrack: The Measure Of A Man – Elton John